Patents Assigned to TRW Inc.
  • Patent number: 6857496
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) comprises a steering feel motor (14) that is operatively connected to a steering shaft (16) of the vehicle (12). A sensor (20) detects operator applied steering inputs to the steering shaft (16) and outputs a steering signal indicative of the monitored operator applied steering inputs. A controller (28) receives the steering signal and, in response to the received steering signal, controls energization of the steering feel motor (14). A security device (38) is operatively connected to the controller (28) and is actuatable for providing a lock steering signal to the controller (28). The controller (28), in response to the lock steering signal, enters a lock steering mode in which the controller (28) controls energization of the steering feel motor (14) to counterbalance all operator applied steering inputs and thereby prevent steering of the vehicle (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Williams
  • Patent number: 6854977
    Abstract: Apparatus (10) includes a vehicle steering wheel (14), a device (220) mountable on the steering wheel, a rear cover (60) that at least partially covers the steering wheel, a rotary connector (100) including a housing (110) for providing an electrical connection with the device. A first electrical connector (210) includes a first connector piece (212) and a second connector piece (214). The first connector piece (212), housing (110) and rear cover (60) are molded as a single piece of plastic material. The second connector piece (214) is guided to interconnect with the first connector piece (212) when the device (220) is installed on the steering wheel (14). The first and second connector pieces (212 and 214) when interconnected provide, an electrical connection between the device (220) and a cable (150) of the rotary connector (100).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2005
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. DuRocher, Stephen J. Horner, Kevin P. Jokipii
  • Patent number: 6835899
    Abstract: An assembly (10) is used in a vehicle having a seat (2) for a vehicle occupant and a vehicle floor pan (4) for supporting the vehicle seat (2). The assembly (10) includes a vehicle seat frame (20) for supporting a load of the vehicle occupant in the vehicle seat (2), a sensor (79) for sensing the load of the vehicle occupant, and a housing (100) for transmitting the load of the vehicle occupant to the vehicle floor pan (4). The sensor (79) provides an output signal indicative of the amount of the load of the vehicle occupant. The housing (100) encloses the sensor (79) to protect the sensor (79).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc., Johnson Controls Technology Company
    Inventors: George B. Wolfe, Charles E. Steffens, Jr., Nick Smith, Donald J. Chomic, Todd R. Elkins-Trottier
  • Patent number: 6834863
    Abstract: A ball joint includes a socket and a stud having a ball end portion received in the socket and a shank projecting from the socket. An annular seal has an intermediate portion extending between first and second end portions. The second end portion of the seal has an engagement portion in sealing engagement with the shank portion of the stud. A spring is molded in the second end portion of the seal and extends for 360 degrees around the circumference of the shank portion at a location radially outward of the engagement portion. The spring has a circular array of spring fingers that extend radially inward from a main body portion and exert a radially inward directed force on the engagement portion to maintain it in sealing engagement with the shank portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Patent number: 6832969
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) comprises a hydraulic fluid operated automatic transmission (20) for transmitting motive power from an engine (22) of a vehicle (16) to drive wheels (24) of the vehicle. The apparatus (10) also includes a hydraulic fluid power assisted steering gear (12) for effecting steering movement of steerable wheels (14) of the vehicle (16), the steering gear including a fluid motor (19). The apparatus (10) includes one body of hydraulic fluid (30) for operating both the transmission (20) and the steering gear (12), and one reservoir (32). A transmission pump (40) connected with the reservoir (32) pumps fluid (30) between the reservoir and the transmission (20). A power steering pump (34) connected with the reservoir (32) pumps fluid (30) between the reservoir and the motor (19). One of the pumps (40, 34) is operative to pump fluid (30) between the reservoir (32) and a cooler (50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: John Saarinen, David Huber
  • Patent number: 6829962
    Abstract: A steering column (10) includes a steering column member (12). A mounting bracket (66) connects the steering column (10) to a vehicle frame. The mounting bracket (66) has a surface defining an aperture (77). A support (24), through which the steering column member (12) extends, is connected with the mounting bracket (66). The support (24) supports the steering column member (12) for rotation about a longitudinal axis (26) of the steering column member (12) and is movable relative to the mounting bracket. A locking mechanism (130) prevents movement of the support (24) relative to the mounting bracket (66). A first portion (42) is connected with the support (24) and is movable with the support (24) and the steering column member (12) relative to the mounting bracket (66). A follower pin (63) extends from the first portion (42) and into the aperture (77) in the mounting bracket (66).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Mark A. Cartwright
  • Patent number: 6830264
    Abstract: An inflator (10) comprises a container (30) in which inflation fluid is stored under pressure. The container (30) has an opening (40) through which inflation fluid flows in a given direction from the container. A rupturable closure member (60) is fixed to the container (30) and blocks flow of inflation fluid through the opening (40). The inflator includes an initiator (70) for, when actuated, rupturing the closure member (60) to enable inflation fluid to flow from the container through the opening (40). The inflator (10) also includes a retainer (90) for retaining the initiator (70) on the container (30). The retainer (90) comprises at least one part (94) having a passage (140) for directing gas that flows from the container (30) in the given direction. The inflator (10) also includes a support (150) for the rupturable closure member (60). The support (150) transmits force from the closure member (60) to said retainer (90).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Ahmad K. Al-Amin
  • Patent number: 6829961
    Abstract: An intermediate steering column (10) for a vehicle with a firewall (14) includes a first shaft (30) pivotally attached to a first U-joint (54) and rotatable about a longitudinal axis (32) of the first shaft upon rotation of the first U-joint. A second shaft (28) drivingly connected to the first shaft (30) has a slip joint connection (42) with the first shaft permitting relative axial movement of the first and second shafts while maintaining a rotary drive connection between the first and second shafts. The first shaft (30) includes first and second shaft parts (60 and 62) and a quick disconnect joint (64) between the first and second shaft parts permitting disconnection of the first and second shaft parts and pivoting of the first shaft part relative to the first U-joint (54) to a first out of the way position and pivoting of the second shaft part relative to a second U-joint (36) to a second out of the way position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: David Koellisch
  • Patent number: 6829357
    Abstract: A communication system (10) has a portion (28) of a transmitter controller (14) that provides a message package. An encryption portion (36) of the controller (14) encrypts a first fraction of the message package (e.g., a first portion of the message package and a first part of a second portion of the message package) using a second fraction of the message package (e.g., a second part of the second portion of the message package) as an encryption key. Transmitter components (32 and 34) output a signal (18) that conveys the encrypted first fraction of the message package. Receiver components (56 and 58) receive the signal (18). A decryption portion (60) of a receiver/controller unit (16) decrypts the signal using a decryption key, and reassembles the message package using the decryption key as the second fraction of the message package. Preferably, the communication system (10) is a remote convenience system for remotely controlling a convenience function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Ansaf Ibrahem Alrabady, David Leonard Juzswik
  • Publication number: 20040217853
    Abstract: A tire and suspension monitoring and warning system consisting of a set of multi-function sensors that monitor and warn of a failure mode. The system monitors and warns for tire imbalance, tire tread wear, and shock absorbers for a tire attached to a vehicle. The monitoring and warning system includes one axial, radial, and lateral acceleration measurement of the wheel to provide acceleration signal sample power. For tire imbalance, signal sample power in the second harmonic of the tire rotational frequency is compared to that of the first harmonic. For tire tread wear, average signal sample power within a second frequency range is compared to a previously stored baseline value. For shock absorber performance, a sum of all frequency components in a second predetermined frequency range is compared to a baseline value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 26, 2004
    Publication date: November 4, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Barry Dunbridge, Kenneth L. Brown, George W. McIver, Kiran R. Magiawala, Kelley D. Chilcott
  • Patent number: 6810133
    Abstract: An occupant sensing system (12) and an associated method provide for the sensing of an occupant (14). An illuminating element (46) of the system (12)selectively illuminates the interior of a vehicle (8). An image sensor (50) acquires a first image of the interior of the vehicle (8) when the interior of the vehicle is illuminated by ambient sources only and acquires a second image of the interior of the vehicle when the interior of the vehicle is illuminated by ambient sources and the illuminating element (46). A controller (34) removes the effect of ambient sources by comparing the first and second images to produce a third image of the interior of the vehicle (8) as illuminated by the illuminating element (46) only. The controller (34) determines the presence of an occupant (14) by comparing the third image to a produced map of the interior of the vehicle (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Farid Khairallah, Stephen R. W. Cooper, Nicholas M. Zayan, Jon K. Wallace, Chek-Peng Foo
  • Patent number: 6809638
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) comprises a controller (82) for receiving a control parameter. At least one tire condition sensor (26-32) senses a tire condition and transmits a tire condition signal (34) indicative of the sensed tire condition. A receiver (78) receives the tire condition signal (34) and compares the received tire condition signal (34) to a changeable threshold to output a digital signal indicative of the received tire condition signal (34). The changeable threshold changes at time intervals determined by a time constant of the receiver (78). The time constant of the receiver (78) is variable. The controller (82) is operatively connected to the receiver (78) and varies the time constant of the receiver (78) in response to the received control parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Xing Ping Lin
  • Patent number: 6810135
    Abstract: A human presence detection system (50) that employs a frame differencing technique for subtracting out background interference from images generated by the system. The system (50) includes an infrared source (28) that generates a beam of infrared radiation, and an infrared detector (72) that receives infrared radiation reflected from objects in the path of the beam. Face recognition software is employed to determine the presence of a person (16) from the reflected radiation. The infrared source (28) is pulsed on and off and the detector (72) is synchronously shuttered to the pulses so that image frames are generated at different times, where one frame includes reflected radiation and background radiation and another frame includes only background radiation. The frames are subtracted to separate out the background radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: John J. Berenz, George W. McIver, Joseph W. Niesen, Barry Dunbridge, Gregory A. Shreve
  • Patent number: 6810313
    Abstract: An arrangement (14) is used in a vehicle (10), and contains an occupant characteristic sensor (36), a filter (62) and a controller (24). The sensor (36) senses an occupant characteristic and outputs a signal indicative thereof. The filter (62) and the controller (24) operate to monitor the signal for a frequency component indicative of a vehicle crash event. In one example, the arrangement (14) is part of an occupant protection system (12) that includes an actuatable protection device (16). The controller (24) controlling actuation of the protection device (16) in response to the filtered frequency component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen R. W. Cooper, Kiran Ramanlal Magiawala
  • Patent number: 6802533
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) comprises an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (20) and a gas generating material (16) that, when ignited, produces gas to inflate the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (20). The gas generating material (16) comprises a polyurethane thermoplastic elastomer and an inorganic salt oxidizer. The polyurethane elastomeric material comprises a physically cross-linked linear copolymer of an aromatic diisocyanate and a linear energetic polymer having a hydroxyl functionality of two or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Harold R. Blomquist
  • Patent number: 6801134
    Abstract: A system (10) for remotely controlling a function includes a portable transceiver (34) that outputs a request signal (30) at one of a plurality of frequencies. A base unit (24) receives the request signal (30) and performs the requested function in response to the receipt. The base unit (24) includes components (e.g., 66, 70 and 74) that select the one frequency at which the portable transceiver (34) outputs the function request signal (30) and that provide the selected frequency to the portable transceiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: David Leonard Juzswik
  • Publication number: 20040179847
    Abstract: An optical inter-satellite link (OISL) gimbal 10 that is particularly suited for directing an optical beam in an optical inter-satellite communications system is disclosed. The OISL gimbal 10 includes an azimuth drive housing 20, a generally cylindrical azimuth shaft 22 rotatably connected to the azimuth drive housing 20 and an optical payload 210 or beam-steering mirror 70 rotatably connected to the azimuth shaft 22. The azimuth shaft 22 has a clear aperture through which one or more optical beams may be directed to and from a stationary optical payload 30. A capacitive azimuth position sensor 40 detects the rotational position of the azimuth shaft 22 and a direct drive azimuth motor 50 drives rotation of the azimuth shaft 22. The OISL gimbal 10 preferably provides two-axis rotation of the optical payload 210 or beam-steering mirror 70 through approximately +/−180 degrees of inboard (azimuth) travel and +/−30 degrees of line-of-sight outboard (elevation) travel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2003
    Publication date: September 16, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Dan R. Johnson, Mark A. Carroll, Daniel R. Sherman, Timothy R. Stone
  • Patent number: 6789641
    Abstract: A method for controlling an electric assist motor (50) for providing steering assist in response to a sensed torque signal (&tgr;s) includes the step of filtering the sensed torque signal to provide a low frequency torque signal (&tgr;sL) and a high frequency torque signal (&tgr;sH). A low frequency assist torque signal (&tgr;assistLF) is determined as a function of the low frequency torque signal (&tgr;sL). A high frequency assist gain signal (Kmax) is determined as a function of the sensed torque signal (&tgr;s) and a sensed vehicle speed (&ngr;).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin M McLaughlin
  • Patent number: 6792136
    Abstract: A method beginning at (10) is provided for creating high-fidelity visible coloring from infrared images of a scene under surveillance. The infrared images captured at (12) are analyzed at (14) to determine if an object, such as a face, is identifiable within the image. If an object is identifiable at (16) the object features are compared to a plurality of stored object features at (20). If there is a match at (22), the color characteristics of the object are obtained at (24) and the object is colored at (26) based on the stored database feature information. If there is no match at (22) or identifiable object at (16) and object color cannot be identified at (23), the image is analyzed at (28) to determine if a pattern, such as clothing, is identifiable within the image. If a pattern is identifiable at (30), the color characteristics of the pattern are obtained at (34) and the pattern is colored at (36) according to infrared reflectance characterization in conjunction with the stored pattern information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph W. Niesen
  • Patent number: 6792059
    Abstract: A bit synchronizer for a digital receiver system accounts for loss of bit synchronization due to transmission phenomena. The bit synchronizer includes a DC level estimator for converting a sampled digital signal having a bit rate and a sampling rate into a level-adjusted signal. A delay module generates a first timing signal, a second timing signal, and a third timing signal based on the level-adjusted signal. The timing signals correspond to early, on-time, and late sampling windows. The control module generates an output signal based on the timing signals such that the transmit and receive bit timing are synchronized. In one embodiment, the control module has an absolute value stage, an integration stage, and a signal selector. The signal selector is able to select between the timing signals, adjust the symbol rate to re-center the on-time gate, and memory swap to maintain correct averaging operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Rebecca W. Yuan, Peter R. Pawlowski